Learning beyond the classroom

washington program

Political Science

The study of politics can’t be confined within classroom walls. To fully grasp this discipline, you need to get out in the real world – in congressional offices, on the campaign trail, in political party headquarters. You’ll have opportunities to take it all in firsthand through internships. We can make arrangements for you to spend a summer or semester working in the Washington, Columbia or local offices of your congressional representatives. You could also intern with businesses, television stations, and political, professional and nonprofit organizations.

Washington Semester Program

Lander students are able to spend a semester living in Washington, D.C., through the prestigious Washington Semester Program coordinated by the Honors College of the University of South Carolina. Students are placed within federal government offices or in nongovernmental offices (think tanks, media organizations, etc.) to benefit their educational experience in the nation's capital. 



Textbooks and lectures can provide some insight into how people relate to one another, but some things must be learned outside the traditional settings of classrooms and labs. During your senior year, you will intern with an agency, gaining valuable experience and academic credit at the same time. Students serve as interns in a wide variety of settings, including senior citizen centers, prisons, mental health clinics, law enforcement offices, and drug and alcohol abuse commissions. Students find that their internship experiences are extremely useful in expanding their employment opportunities.


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Getting Involved

Each year, Lander’s top political science and sociology majors are inducted into Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society, Alpha Phi Sigma, the national criminal justice honor society, and Alpha Kappa Delta, the international sociology honor society.

Additionally, the Department of Government, Criminology, & Sociology offers students majoring in sociology or political science a variety of enriching cocurricular experiences:


Life after Lander

In today’s competitive marketplace, many employers are looking for well-rounded college graduates with a liberal arts education. Lander’s political science and sociology curricula are designed to give you this kind of foundation. Our graduates have:

  • Served their communities as administrators and counselors with the S.C. Department of Youth Services, Department of Social Services, and the Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse.
  • Pursued careers in local government, criminal justice, law enforcement and the military.
  • Entered the business world in a variety of industries and job functions.
  • Furthered their studies through law school, master's programs in public administration and social work, and other graduate programs.


Department awards

Awards are granted annually to outstanding university students from all disciplines during a ceremony each spring.

  • Alan Jones Award
    Named in honor of a former international visiting professor, this award is given annually by the political science faculty to the junior or senior majoring in political science who has demonstrated the most outstanding promise entering the program.
  • Display of Outstanding Sociological Imagination Award
    Given annually by the sociology faculty to one or more sociology majors who amply demonstrated potential for success in graduate school.
  • Political Science Discipline Award
    Given annually by the political science faculty to the graduating senior majoring in political science with the highest cumulative grade point average.
  • Sociology Discipline Award
    Given annually by the sociology faculty to the graduating senior majoring in sociology with the highest cumulative grade point average.
  • Criminology Discipline Award
  • Public Administration Award
  • Non-Profit Management Award
  • International Studies Award
  • Human Services Award